Canada launched the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in 1967 to select immigrants worldwide. Before introducing the FSWP, Canada selected skilled worker immigrants subjectively, based on the discretion of individual immigration officers who made a judgement call on whether they thought a candidate could integrate into the Canadian job market.

The Canadian government realised this old approach needed to be revised and introduced the world’s first points system to select immigrants. No longer would Canada use subjective criteria. Instead, it decided to use objective criteria to evaluate all candidates similarly: based on their age, education, language skills, work experience, and occupation, among other factors.


The Federal Skilled Worker Program (also known as the Federal Skilled Worker Class) is Canada’s flagship immigration program for workers. It allows the country to welcome tens of thousands of newcomers yearly based on their ability to become established in Canada’s workforce.

If you’re a skilled worker looking to move to Canada, the federal skilled worker program might be your golden ticket. The federal skilled worker program (FSWP) is one of the most popular immigration programs in Canada, offering skilled foreign workers the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada.


Here are some of the basic differences between all 3 Federal Canada Express Entry Programs:-

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Job Offer

Not Required

A letter from a company in Canada offering full-time employment for at least one year.

Not Required

Work Experience

Applicants should have at least 1 year of experience within the last 10 years.

Applicants should have at least 2 years of experience within the last 5 years.

Applicants should have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada.

Language Proficiency

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7: English or French.

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5: Speaking and Listening and CLB 4: Reading and Writing.

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)/NCLC 7: National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill level 0 and A and CLB/NCLC 5: NOC skill level B.

Type/Level of Work

Categories Under NOC Skilled Group NOC : 0, A or B.

Categories Under NOC Trade Group NOC : 0, A or B.

Canadian experience in 1 NOC : 0, A or B.


This program is for overseas skilled workers who have international work experience.

It is for skilled foreign nationals willing to relocate to Canada to start their trade there.

It assists temporary foreign employees and overseas students with work experience in Canada to obtain PR.


Secondary Education

Not Required

Not Required

Financial Evidence

Proof of funds is required

Proof of funds or an offer letter is required.

Not Required


  • The Express Entry application management system maintains the FSWP. A recent immigration level plan by IRCC states that Canada will welcome 1.4 million new permanent residents over the next three years, to welcome over 110,000 under express entry alone by 2024. Most successful Express Entry candidates use the FSWP to come to Canada. 
  • According to Canadian government research, FSWP immigrants enjoy successful and rewarding careers in Canada.
  • Furthermore, pursuing immigration through the FSWP is advantageous because you can obtain permanent residence in six months, as opposed to the longer processing times for Canada’s other skilled worker programmes.


The federal skilled worker program is an excellent opportunity for foreign skilled workers to become permanent residents in Canada. However, meeting the requirements and eligibility for the FSWP can take time and effort. If you want permanent residence in Canada, you first need to see if you can make an express entry profile under FSWP.

To be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements for work, language ability, and education and obtain at least 67 points under the program’s 100-point grid.

The minimum requirements are:

  • One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National occupational classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B. 
  • Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential assessment (ECA) report. 
  • Get at least 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP grid. The program’s grid assesses candidates based on age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability, and adaptability.
  • Meet the proof of funds/ settlement funds requirements (Must note the point according to the latest proof of funds requirement for express entry candidates). Candidates must demonstrate they have a certain amount of savings to support themselves financially upon arriving in Canada.

Once you are eligible, you can enter the Express Entry pool. Candidate profiles in the Express Entry pool, including the federal skilled trades worker program and Canadian experience class candidates, are ranked based on the CRS. 


IRCC uses National Occupation Classification (NOC) to classify jobs/occupations under a certain skill level. Jobs are classified based on a person’s work and the roles and responsibilities of a job.

IRCC classified Occupations under 5 Skill levels as follows:

  • Skill Level O (Management Jobs)
  • Skill Level A ( Jobs that usually require a University Degree)
  • Skill Level B (Technical Jobs and skilled trade jobs that usually require a College Diploma)
  • Skill level C (Intermediate Jobs usually requiring High School Education or specific job training).
  • Skill Level D (Labour Jobs that usually require).


Let’s look at the process — from checking your federal skilled worker program eligibility to getting your Permanent Resident (PR) card.

Step 1
Check your eligibility.

Using the eligibility criteria for the federal skilled worker program above, ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for the program for work experience, language proficiency, and education. Plus, make sure you check your score on the FSW points grid.

Step 2
Obtain the documents you need to create a profile.

To create your Express Entry profile, you’ll need three types of documents:

  • Identification: Make sure you have a valid passport.
  • Language Proficiency: You need test results from an approved language test you took within the two years before creating your profile. For English, candidates may take the IELTS or other tests. For French, the TEF and TCF are the two available options. Candidates with some ability in both English and French can be awarded additional points for ability in their second language.
  • Education: You need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) for education completed outside of Canada.

Step 3
Create an Express Entry profile

This step is completed on the IRCC website. You will be asked to provide some personal information, some of which is self-declared (such as your work history) and some of which must be accompanied by the documents from the previous step.

Step 4
Improve your profile and ranking under the CRS

If your CRS score is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation to apply, consult our guide on increasing your CRS score.

One popular method of increasing your CRS score is to retake your language tests. If your scores could be improved, it may be worthwhile to take some time to study and then sit the exam again.

Other ways to improve your ranking include completing additional work experience or seeing if you are eligible under one of the Express Entry-aligned Provincial nominee program streams, particularly those in the province in which you work(ed). Your experience and skills may be in demand in the province, so there could be a 600-point bonus waiting for you.

Step 5
Receive an invitation to apply

This step brings the most joy, allowing you and your family, if applicable, to apply for permanent residence. From this point, you will have 60 days to submit a complete application. ITAs are issued when IRCC conducts one of its draws from the express entry pool.

Step 6:
Complete a medical exam, provide security background checks, and submit an e-application

All Federal Skilled Worker applicants are screened for potential medical and criminal inadmissibility. Your application must show that you have completed a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized panel physician.

In addition, you have to provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) from each country you have lived in for at least six months since age 18. The e-application must be submitted within 60 days of receiving an ITA and include detailed work reference letters from previous employers.

Given the tight time frame, gather the background checks and work reference letters before you receive an ITA.

Step 7:
Your e-application is reviewed

A Canadian immigration officer will review the submitted e-application and let you know if anything else is required.

Step 8:
Receive confirmation of permanent resident status and complete your landing

Eighty percent of applications submitted under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are processed within less than six months. When approved, a person receives a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document. An officer at a Canadian port of entry or IRCC office signs and dates this document when permanent residence is granted.

Step 9:
Get your PR card

Once you have your confirmation of status, you may then apply for your PR card. If you travel outside Canada, you may use this card as proof of your status in Canada.

With the above Nine steps, you will get from waiting for the express entry draw to getting the PR for Canada in a maximum processing time of 6-7 months. This program is the fastest way to Canada, so make sure you try to increase the maximum CRS score to get an ITA from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)

An educational credential assessment (ECA) confirms that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate (or other credential proof) is genuine and equal to a Canadian one. ECAs are classified into several categories. For immigration purposes, you must get an ECA. If you received another sort of ECA, depending on the type of ECA and issuing company, you may be able to have it reissued.

You must include your ECA report and the reference number in your Express Entry profile.


To be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must meet several minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Work Experience: You must have a minimum of 12 months of full-time, skilled work experience or an equivalent amount of part-time experience. This experience must be continuous and in a single occupation. 
  • Language Proficiency: You must take an approved language test showing you are proficient in either English or French. The minimum score for FSW is equal to the CLB of Level 7 (CLB 7), although the higher you score, the better your chances of success.
  • Education: You must have completed a minimum education equal to a Canadian high school diploma. If your education were completed outside of Canada, you would need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) attesting to the value of your education by Canadian standards.
  • Settlement funds: You must have enough funds to support your settlement in Canada. Details are below.
  • Age: The FSWP has a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.

You can submit an Express Entry profile if you meet these minimum eligibility requirements. However, eligibility does not guarantee you’ll be invited to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence. Express Entry is a competitive immigration selection system, so only the highest-ranking FSWP candidates will be invited to apply.


As we already know, the CRS calculator ranked candidates according to age, education, work experience, language ability, settlement funds, adaptability, etc. Here is the proper formatting on how many points you will get on multiple options in the CRS scoreboard.


The majority of Federal Skilled Trades Program applications are processed in six months. 


  1. Expert Visa counselors provide Step-by-step guidance through a secure, online process.  
  2. Apt evaluation of credentials and faster visa processing. 
  3. Identifying all potential hazards and roadblocks in securing a visa. 
  4. Assistance with documentation, immigration rules, citizenship, and border control procedures.
  5. Multiple case assessment for better conflict resolution.
  6. Designated process managers to provide personalized guidance.

Just like the basics of anything act as “building blocks” forming a strong foundation for constructing complex structures. The Basics of Immigration serve as the foundational elements of moving abroad, for any aspiring immigrant.

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